How Can I Help?

Every night on the evening news you hear of wildfires, floods, tornados and people in need. With so many natural disasters happening these days, many of us are wondering what we can do to help others. Of course it is wonderful if you are able to travel to the affected area to help out but many of us just can’t do that. However, it is great to help in some way when you can and here are some tips for finding out just what you can do.

The American Red Cross is one of the first responders in times of need so don’t wait, volunteer now. Contact your local chapter if you are interested so that you can be trained and ready to go when needed. There is always a need for doctors, nurses, paramedics and medical technicians but there are plenty of opportunities for others as well. Their site includes a thorough presentation on how you can get involved.

During a natural disaster local television stations are a good source for quick news updates and immediate information. You can find a local network affiliate with a quick online search. Often they will let you know where or what help is needed and how to donate your time or energy.

As you can imagine, local churches, corporations and community centers will do whatever they can during a crisis but they are called into action immediately and won’t have time to answer your individual questions. Rather than contact them, wait to see what needs they put out a call for and then fill those needs as directed.

Often websites are put together immediately by someone local. They may be resources for those who are affected with suggestions on where to go for immediate help or how to contact family members. Or they may be asking for donations or volunteers. An online search will uncover these sites but please remember that just about anyone can create a website these days so do a bit of research to make sure it is a legitimate source of information. And never give out your credit card number or send money until you are certain you know where it is going and how it will be used!

There is always someone in need of help somewhere so don’t wait. Take a class that will prepare you to help others, like CPR training, or offer your skills by teaching a water safety course, for example. Begin a local drive now to gather resources that might be needed elsewhere later. And remember blood donations are always needed.

Donating and volunteering doesn’t have to happen just around natural disasters. At CardsDirect we support many organizations and people in need. From receiving unused greeting cards and donating them to non-profits as well as sponsoring charitable organizations through partnerships, it always feels good to help others when we can and I’m sure you would agree!

To find current volunteer opportunities in your area, consult the website that lists needs in your zip code and close by. Nothing feels better than helping others!